Southern California is known for its generally mild climate at lower elevations, as well as mountains and arid areas that can produce some significant weather extremes. Throughout the year, conditions in the region can lead to substantial wear and tear in outdoor fencing, especially fencing made of wood. Despite this fact, for a number of aesthetic and practical reasons, wood remains a popular fence material choice for both homeowners and businesses. If you spend your hard-earned money installing a wood fence, you’ll naturally want to choose materials that will hold up well in the SoCal climate and continue to serve their intended purpose for extended periods of time. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the three most durable forms of wood you can use for your upcoming fencing project.
Cedar is a stable, straight-grained wood prized by fence builders for its uniform texture, its favorable cutting properties and ability to produce a tight fit when mounted in position. And once in place, this type of fencing material typically stays put for a long time. That’s because it has a high level of resistance to common problems such as shrinkage, warping and cracking. Cedar also ranks high among fence builders because it contains oils and acids that naturally keep a lot of wood-destroying insects at bay. The beauty of fences made from this material ensures that you don’t have to make a choice between functional use and an aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Redwood shares many of cedar’s desirable qualities as a durable, reliable fencing material. First, this type of wood is resistant to some of the typical forces that can damage fences made from other tree species. In particular, redwood exhibits high dimensional stability, a property that reduces its tendency to shrink and swell when exposed to rainfall or other sources of moisture. Like cedar, redwood also contains certain chemicals that make it unappealing to many species of insects. In addition, this fencing material cuts easily, looks beautiful in its natural state and takes well to staining and painting. In fact, you won’t find any other softwood species that will hold a protective coating of paint or stain better than redwood.
Rightwood is the trademarked name for a fencing material made by Alta Forest Products. This material, made from high-quality whitewood, receives a coating of pigmented latex stain during its creation. The staining process significantly enhances the durability of the underlying wood by making it decay-resistant, mold-resistant and fungus-resistant. The company’s proprietary staining also makes Rightwood resistant to the damaging effects of the ultraviolet (UV) radiation in sunlight and provides the dimensional stability needed to reduce harmful water absorption and evaporation. In addition, the manufacturer can use different shades of the stain to closely mimic the look of specific species of trees, including redwood and western red cedar.
The original latex coating on Rightwood will last for approximately three to five years without reapplication. In addition, the product has a functional lifespan of roughly 20 years. This is at least five years longer than any type of untreated wood fencing, and eight to 10 years longer in most cases.